Saturday, July 31, 2010

If I Tear Up at the Sight of Pa's Fiddle, Can You Imagine What I'd Be Like in the Holy Land?

Not that I'm going to the Holy Land, but it occurred to me that I'll be a sputtering mess if I'm ever able to get there.

All-Things-Little-House have been a part of our family lexicon for as long as I can remember. We've read Laura's books, and Lissa's books, we've churned butter, made cornhusk dolls, pieced together bits of quilts, studied Scotland, New England, and all-things-pioneer. We can quote Martha and Charlotte and Ma and Laura, Mary, Carrie, Mrs. Boast and Mr. Edwards. We have laughed, cuddled, discussed and pondered as we've read and reread these books together. I love them because they are a part of our homeschool ... they are a part of my family.

And so, yes, I actually teared up when I saw Pa's fiddle, and Laura's sewing machine, Ma's pearl handled pen and the little china box that Laura received for Christmas one year. I was delighted to see Laura's handwriting -- original manuscripts on tablets -- which looked just like my own grandmother's penmanship. And we all ooohed at the autograph cards from Minnie Johnson and Mrs. Boast, and at the bead work over which Mary had labored.

We spent nearly two hours getting our fill of two tiny houses, a small museum and a bookstore (t-shirts and tin cups were a must) and I must agree with Ramona -- that lady in Arkansas was very, very wrong.

No photos are allowed inside the houses, so we had to settle for a few outside shots:
Waiting for the tour of the Rock House.

All of us on Laura and Almanzo's front porch. 

The girls, looking the farmhouse over (and Atticus, to the far right, wondering how much we're going to spend in the gift shop.)

Another view of the farmhouse.

The English cottage style "Rock House" which Rose had built for Laura and Almanzo (though they, amusingly, moved back to their little farm house as soon as they could.)

I'll be back tomorrow with a few shots of the gorgeous drive we took through the Ozark mountains to get to Rocky Ridge.


Anonymous said...

I am tearing up with you!!!! So very very wonderful. Wish we'd been there too. LOVE the photos. Love it all! Thank you!

Lissa said...

Um, whoops? Didn't mean to be anonymous.

Mamacita (The REAL one) said...

I think we are secret sisters. I love all things Laura so much! I will have to admit, though, that the fictional series BASED on Laura's life did not appeal to me at all. I donated it to the school library after I read it, after the shock wore off. I want the real thing or nothing at all! I do speaking gigs about Laura, and I love your pictures; I have many that are just the same except for the people in them. heh. As for tearing up at the sight of Pa's fiddle. . . . I am tearing up at the mere thought of you getting to see Pa's fiddle. I've been to the Mansfield house several times, and each time it's the same: I am overwhelmed. (The gift shop has a website, you know.)

Laura's books were the first hard-bound set I ever bought with my own money. I cherish them like a third child.

Sara said...

I'm tearing up because the 3 (?) times I've been there, I have NEVER been able to go to the Rock House!! It's never been open for tours. Is that a new thing that it's open now?

Lindsay ( in NJ) said...

We make the trip to St. Louis (from NJ) almost every year to visit family, and how I've wanted to get to Mansfield, but haven't made it yet.

We did get to Lake Pepin once and saw the Little House in the Big Woods (a reproduction)

My sister-in-law went on a bus tour of the Dakotas this summer and she said some of the people were in near open revolt about how much time they "wasted" in DeSmet. Can you imagine?

There is also a "Pa's Fiddle Project" that you might want to look into:

Karen Edmisten said...

Lissa, you were very much on our minds, as you can imagine!

Mamacita, the only non-Laura books we like (actually, *love*) are Melissa Wiley's. We tried reading the Caroline and Rose ones, but none of them have the heart and soul of Lissa's Martha and Charlotte books. But, don't tempt me with that bookstore website. :)

Sara, I'm not sure what the situation is with the Rock house. Apparently the association has only owned it since 1990, and they've done a fair amount to restore it, but I'm not sure why it was closed in the past, other than that.

Lindsay, thanks for the link! Great stuff.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

I don't think you would tear up in the Holy Land, I think you would find an incredible peace. I lived there for more than two years, and that is what all visitors found. I hope you will go there some time.

Karen Edmisten said...

Thank you, Elizabeth, I hope so, too. I do think I would feel that peace, but I think I would also cry tears of gratitude. That's just me. :)